It was a dark and stormy night… We’re all pretty familiar with these words. And, ham-handed as they might be, they do one thing quite clearly: they set the mood for the reader. Mood is not terribly complicated or difficult to set, but more often than not it requires a slightly subtler hand. A … Continue reading THREE WAYS TO SET THE MOOD OF A SCENE

Are Emojis Destroying Our Language?

Emojis. Those cutesy little things that enable you to evolve a simple text of boring old words into a beautiful tapestry of modern-day hieroglyphics. But are they really helping you better express yourself? Or are they another step towards a brainless Orwellian future? My, my. That took a dark turn. But stick with me here. … Continue reading Are Emojis Destroying Our Language?

A Funny Story, And A Life Lesson

It’s been a while since I’ve done an On Fighting post, and I just recently had an interesting experience that got me thinking. The whole thing took place at the retirement party of a guy who’d been a former lieutenant of mine, and it was being held at a very nice country estate. Me and … Continue reading A Funny Story, And A Life Lesson

How To Eat Your Weight In Cookies And Not Feel Guilty

Ah, the New Year. That magical time when people are determined to care about their health. At least for the next week or so. Then the gyms, which were so crowded with bright-eyed hopefuls with visions of chiseled abs dancing in their heads, will gradually empty out as lifetimes of poor habits reassert themselves. That … Continue reading How To Eat Your Weight In Cookies And Not Feel Guilty

Scene Setting And The Five Senses

So, last week we talked a bit about my preferred method of scene-setting, which is to give the reader the broad, impressionistic strokes of the scene, which they can largely flesh out in their own mind. I’ll go into detail about certain things, but only if they’re germane to the plot, or if they’re going … Continue reading Scene Setting And The Five Senses

How To Set The Scene (Without Putting People To Sleep)

I was asked recently by an aspiring writer to help them figure out how to set the scene. It’s interesting how often I do things without thinking about them. I had to think about this guy’s question for a bit. How exactly do I set scenes? Well, there’s one guiding principle here, and that’s that … Continue reading How To Set The Scene (Without Putting People To Sleep)

Winners Deal In Facts

The topic of talking shit as a preamble to a competitive effort has always been interesting to me. Perhaps because I’m so bad at it. I’m not very witty, so I’ve found it best to keep my mouth shut. Three hours later, I’m sure I’ll come up with a real zinger. Enter my scientific fascination … Continue reading Winners Deal In Facts